5 Reasons You Should Have an Annual Wellness Visit

An AWV Costs You Nothing

The most valuable medical appointment you have this year might be the one that costs you nothing.

All adults on Medicare should have an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV).

An AWV is a 45-minute yearly discussion between you and your primary care provider (PCP) or other health-care provider. This extended, in-depth visit includes screenings that can lead to identification of problems not discussed during a regular appointment.

An AWV helps you stay informed and proactive about your health. Perhaps best of all, there is no visit co-pay for all Medicare beneficiaries.

5 Reasons to Schedule an AWV Today

The AWV initiative started in 2012, when primary care providers realized the benefit of prevention and the need to know about more than just a patient’s diabetes or blood pressure control. We want to know your current state of wellness and health, and what threatens both. We want you to BE WELL.

Your entire AWV is dedicated to intentionally reviewing all the things we don’t have time to talk about during your regular visits for medical problems. The AWV gives us time to talk about what’s important to you, including your goals for the next five to 10 years, and how we can help you reach those goals.

An AWV Costs You Nothing

That’s right, you won’t even have a co-pay for the visit. When have you ever been to your primary care provider's office for 45 minutes and NOT had to pay anything? We believe your Annual Wellness Visit is that important!

Your Complete Yearly Wellness Inspection

You don’t think twice about scheduling your yearly financial, insurance and car evaluations. You know how important it is to update and plan ahead.

Think of the AWV as your yearly wellness evaluation for seniors. We cover standard health maintenance topics and include screenings for blood pressure, hearing and vision, as well as fall risk, cognitive impairment, depression, incontinence and nutritional deficiencies. The extended visit also gives us a chance to discuss advance care planning.

You may be surprised to learn that an AWV does NOT include a physical exam. The idea of a yearly physical without a specific concern is antiquated and has not been found to be valuable. Save this for your regular office visits, not your well visits!

Learn About Your Health and Prepare for Potential Problems

As they say, the only constant is change. Our bodies and capabilities are constantly changing, and after a certain point, this change is most often a decline. Taking a yearly inventory allows us to see the rate of change and helps with making long-term predictions for your health and well-being.

An AWV is the only time you can have risk assessments that predict your chances of encountering health problems over the next one to two years. For qualified individuals, this includes screenings for aortic abdominal aneurysm, a serious condition that often has no symptoms, and bone density screening (DXA scan) for osteoporosis.

If we find something that puts you at risk, we can “manage your portfolio” then and there, hopefully averting the problem or at least preparing you for it, so you know what to do when it occurs. You always want to be informed and prepared, especially when it comes to your health.

Schedule Your AWV

Just call your primary care provider's office and ask for an Annual Wellness Visit. It’s that simple.

author name

Nancy J. Estep, CRNP, BS, MBA, MS, WCC

Nancy J. Estep, CRNP, BS, MBA, MS, WCC, is a nurse practitioner with LG Health Physicians Geriatrics.

Education: Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration, The Pennsylvania State University; Master of Business Administration, Shippensburg University; Bachelor of Science in Nursing, York College; Master of Science in Nursing, York College.

Call: 717-544-3022

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.

 

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